M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television Celebrates Hit Series

M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television key artwork. Courtesy of FOX.

M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television is an all-new special that celebrates the historic Emmy-winning comedy series.

Interestingly, the special is airing on FOX rather than CBS, which M*A*S*H called home for 11 seasons. This reminds me of the earlier birthday special for Carol Burnett, which aired on NBC. It makes one wonder just what CBS was thinking. Or is it because of 20th Television producing the series? Oh, well.

The series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” owned the ratings record from 1983 all the way until it was broken in 2010. It delivered a 77 audience share and 60.2 rating. A record that speaks to the popularity of the series at the time as well as how few networks were on the air at the time. Not to mention how fractured audiences would become throughout the growth of cable television and later streaming disruption. The show has been airing in on form or another following the 1983 series finale, either in syndication, on basic cable, or streaming services such as Hulu.

Both cast and crew are interviewed as they celebrate one of the most beloved, enduringly popular, often quoted and influential comedies ever created. There are new interviews with original cast members Alan Alda (Capt. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce), Gary Burghoff (Cpl. Walter “Radar” O’Reilly), William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy), Jamie Farr (Cpl./Sgt. Maxwell Q. “Max” Klinger), Mike Farrell (Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt), Wayne Rogers (Capt. “Trapper” John McIntyre) and Loretta Swit (Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan) and series executive producers Gene Reynolds and Burt Metcalfe. These interviews are intimate, highly personal remembrances and through them. Audiences will learn about the creation and evolution of the show’s iconic characters. Viewers will also see rare and never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, photos and stories.

Unfortunately, writer/producer Larry Gelbart and series stars Larry Linville (Maj. Frank Burns), Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman T. Potter), McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col. Henry Blake) and David Ogden Stiers (Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III) are no longer with us. The special remembers them by way of a vibrant collection of clips from the series as well as in rarely-seen archival interviews.

The special offers unique experiences, observations and memories from 11 seasons of M*A*S*H. Audiences will laugh, cry, and leave on a nostalgic high while celebrating the brilliance of the iconic sitcom.

M*A*S*H is not only a great television series, it is a cultural phenomenon. It has made multiple generations of viewers laugh, cry and think, often in the same episode,” said Executive Producers John Scheinfeld and Andy Kaplan. “We are excited to team with FOX to create this unprecedented window into an innovative television classic.”

M*A*S*H is among the most iconic sitcoms in the annals of television history.  It’s a timeless show that comedically captures the 4077th medical corps and how they managed to maintain their sanity while saving lives on the front lines of the Korean War,” said Dan Harrison, EVP, Program Planning & Content Strategy, FOX Entertainment.  “Larry Gelbart, Gene Reynolds and Burt Metcalfe brought this incredible comedy to life thanks to their ensemble cast led by the incomparable Alan Alda. FOX is proud to celebrate the landmark achievements of one of the best comedies ever created.”

If you miss the special this evening, you can catch it later on Hulu, Tubi, On Demand, or Fox.com

DIRECTOR: John Scheinfeld
FEATURING: Alan Alda, Gary Burghoff, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, Gene Reynolds, Burt Metcalfe

M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television airs January 1, 2024 at 8-10 PM ET/PT on Fox.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.